Women Building Houses in Keetmanshoop

Women in Keetmanshoop have grabbed the opportunity to become part of the mass housing initiative by learning how to construct houses from ground level all the way to roof level and are even installing the plumbing and electrical wiring of the houses they build. The Women in Construction initiative has received at least five of the 320 houses to be constructed during the first phase of the mass housing project here.

A program initiated by Namibian Homes, the main contractor at the site of the mass housing project here, Women in Construction is providing training in bricklaying and plastering to 46 women.

What’s more is that the women, who all come from the town’s informal settlement of Tseiblaagte, are now also installing the electrical wiring and plumbing works of all the houses they work on.

“It’s going really well and I am quite impressed with what these women have accomplished”, said Eugene de Klerk, an instructor who trains and oversees the work done by the women.

According to the acting Chief Executive Officer of the Keetmanshoop Municipality, Quinton Visagie, the initiative is making a dent in the prevalent unemployment conditions at the town.

“The Women in Construction initiative has been running for approximately 10 weeks and is still fully provisional”, noted Visagie.

“We are actually looking at involving more women on site”, said site foreman, Tangeni Betuel. He explained that Namibian Homes provides an interactive session every Wednesday to encourage more women to become involved in the construction industry.

One of the supervisors on site at the Women in Construction initiative, Priscila Shilongo, said the women are eager to learn and feel they have accomplished something substantial when they see the houses being erected. “We have a lot to learn but the main thing is that we are willing to learn and we feel we are quite capable of doing to the job and doing it well”, said Shilongo. The Mass Housing Programme, which is government’s initiative to deliver 185 000 houses by 2030, aims to create approximately 2.5 jobs for every house constructed. It is estimated that on average 10 278 houses will be constructed on an annual basis, resulting in the creation of close to 25 700 jobs.

Source : New Era

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